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PVC 1.5″ Crown Race Setter

Last updated on January 29, 2022

The Salsa El Mariachi Ti has a headset for a tapered fork, thus when I picked up a rigid fork for it (more on that later) I wanted to be sure to get a tapered one. Lacking a proper setter I decided to make one out of PVC pipe. Schedule 40 PVC pipe, 1.5″, has an average inside diameter of 1.590″, which is perfect for fitting over the 1.5″ bottom of a tapered steerer tube.

Home Depot sells 2′ sections of pipe, so this, plus a cap, were purchased for making the setter. I cut the pipe to 14″ long (same as a Park Tool CRS-1) to ensure a nice, square end then fitted a cap on the other end. After cutting a slight inside bevel on the pipe this worked fairly well for hammering on the Cane Creek 40-CrownRace-52/40-Steel race (really, a bearing seat and seal) which is the matching part for the headset on the bike.

This did not work as easily as setting a traditional 1-1/8″ headset using a metal tool, but after a few false starts it did eventually work. The PVC felt somewhat flexible and I believe was absorbing some of the force from the hammer. The steerer is also has a 33% greater circumference, so on a 1.5″ steerer there’ll be more friction than with a 1-1/8″, so it’ll take more force overall to set the race in place.

That all said, at less than $5 for making one yourself versus ~$70 (online prices) for buying a steel one, and still ending up with an effective tool, this is worth making.

One Comment

  1. Jeromy Speyrer
    Jeromy Speyrer March 28, 2019

    What did you use to chamfer the ID of the pipe?

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